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Oh, this is the obedience/agility forum.


Ben likes dried liver. I CANNOT use my voice or hand with him so I've had to mark correct behavior with the clicker.


Maggie and Rick will sell their soul for any kind of food. I can hold a wood chip in my hand and teach Rick ANYTHING in 2.5 seconds. Maggie's a little more discriminating.


Jen likes praise reinforced with an occaisional treat. She doesn't like to be messed with much either though and I get the best results with the clicker. I haven't done much though since she's in full-blown sheep training now.


Doug the Dog also likes the precision of the clicker paired with liver treats. I'm starting to think Doug the Dog and Ben were seperated at birth - four years apart. Doug's like a young, not-screwed-up Ben.


Only Maggie and now Ben have had any formal obedience or agility training, of all mine. We're so slack here, I guess. (c:

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Oh, shoot, I forgot, Rick and Jen both tug a cloth Frisbee (a John Deere frisbee I found at the feed store). But it's not anything more than a target, really.

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Fly will eat anything organic (meaning carbon-based) but I find that in most instances, a tug toy or thrown frisbee work better.


Solo's favorite reward, in a civilian context, is a blue racquetball. He will also work for a tug toy, and food treats -- liver treats, tiny dried anchovies, baked giblets (hearts/gizzards), exotic (i.e., unfamiliar) kibbles if they are pretty fatty. We do a lot of behavior modification so he gets a lot of food treats.


Solo has some other strange motivators. For example, he loves to destuff toys. If I hold some toy stuffing in my hand and let him pull it out of my hand with his front teeth, he will work quite willingly for that. In agility, he tends to find the activity inherently rewarding but my trainer keeps telling me that this isn't a suitable reward, so we use food.


Of course, if they had their druthers they'd always be rewarded with sheep, but...

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I am just curious how to reward with a tug or toy, as in the timing of it. This must seem like a silly question, but I am having trouble visualizing it. I know with food, I just give her the treat, or throw it to her. With tug, do you click, or say good girl (or what ever), and then offer the tug toy for a few minutes?


Call me silly, but I'm not sure!




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We use treats for teaching and reinforcement, along with lots of praise and chest or butt scratces. We're still early in the agility training (the girls are young). Tenaya the BC, especially, just LOVES to tug and chase a ball or frisbee and finds this the greatest reward, but it also de-focuses her from the task at hand, so treats work better for keeping a working focus.


However, she has a couple of special tug toys (the Skunk and the Hurl-A-Squirrel) that my husband uses exclusively to reward her in SAR training (no treats, there).


Another poster wrote:

>I am just curious how to reward with a tug or

>toy, as in the timing of it. This must seem like

>a silly question, but I am having trouble

>visualizing it. I know with food, I just give

>her the treat, or throw it to her. With tug, do

>you click, or say good girl (or what ever), and

>then offer the tug toy for a few minutes?


My husband gives her LOTS and LOTS of high-pitched, excited praise and plays hard tug with her for a couple of minutes (2 or 3) after she has "Found" her victim. It's not something for quick obedience training.


Also, just for practice (and NILIF), when we're playing fetch with her, we'll often ask for a couple of obedience behaviors before throwing-- "Down!", then "Sit!", and then quickly throw the ball, which becomes her reward. This makes it part of the game, so she is quite excited to do whatever we ask (it's also VERY cute!). But it's mostly "game", reinforcing, and not so much "training" as in "learning".


Deanna in OR

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Tess will work for food if it is really good (liver, cheese, yogurt drops) and we regularly do obedience work for tennis ball throwing or tugging. I make her sit, down, shake, touch, wait, etc. and then she may grab the tug and we pull for a bit. With the ball, I do pretty much the same thing.


Tess does not really care for petting. She tolerates being petted but will not tolerate it at all if she is busy doing something where she knows she is working (obedience, fetch, etc.). She is all about games. She prefers toys to food, but will work for the treats I mentioned. She also works better when it comes to learning things if she is a little worn out first, :rolleyes: so we play fetch until she is ready to rest and then we do obedience or tricks practice.


Allie & Tess

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Depends what they?re doing. Obedience ? click/treat (very small pieces of cheese, devon/Belgium sausage/cabana); tracking with Fergus ? food ? I?m still trying to get him really interested in toys as an end reward ? he?s too polite to play tug the way my previous BC boy used to :rolleyes: ; agility and flyball ? food, sometimes toy ? but like Melanie?s Solo, they?re happy to work just for the fun of it; sheep with Kirra ? sheep ? no other rewards necessary. :D

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Maggie's very flexible when it comes to food treats - she'll work for almost anything. Her favs (which we use in high distraction areas and agility class) include: liver, lamb lung, string cheese, salmon, chicken, and beef 'power bone' pieces. She'll also work for grapes and banana pieces at home, but they aren't portable enough for travel.


I'm working on getting her more toy motivated for agility. Currently we use a 'jackpot' toy (treats can be stuffed inside) and she's starting to focus on it more.


I just got her a new tug toy and we're working on tugging rewards as well. She usually only tugs when she's really hyped - hit or miss in agility class right now since it's so distracting.

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I teach most new things with food treats then replace them with toys and praise once the action I want is understood. I alternate between fetch games and tug games, more tug with Dev, more catch and fetch with Darcy just because of their individual preferences.


I use a cue word to let them know when it's okay to play tug so it's a fast and immediate reward game. I also use a release word to stop the game so we can continue with training without the dogs pushing to keep playing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spike's best reward is for me to throw his ball, and this is how he learned most everything he knows. He isn't very foody, but he will work for cheese, nuked hot dog chips or little cubes of baked lamb's liver on occasions when the ball wouldn't be convenient, as long as the distraction factor isn't too high.


Liz & Captain Distraction xxx

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happy-well in flyball she is not rewarded with anything, because she could not care less about anything but the ball she already has(wont even exchange it for another ball) and she wont let go, when she does let go I will play a little game of catch though. other times just continuing whatever she is doing is reward enugh to her.


Ripley-treats, the only reason he will play is if he gets treats for playing lol


perky-treats, or a squeeky toy.


shadow-food, she could care less about anything else, she does not play, she just steals everyones toys and keeps then in a stash in her "lair"


Blair-food, that dog is damn fast, open the fridge and there is food gone in the blink of an eye, and its been swallowed already too. food is all her cares about lol

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